A trip to Camden Market, London

In Cities, Days Out, London, Mini Breaks, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, UK Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

A vivacious labyrinth of vintage, vinyl and damn right stylish

Having worked in London for several years and visited as a tourist on so many occasions that I’ve now lost count. I can’t believe that I’ve only headed to Camden Market twice.

The Camden Market sign over the Chalk farm entrance in front of the old industrial brick buildings.

One entrance to Camden Market

Perhaps it’s that Camden portrays the hip, cool and trendy vibe, and I’m not too sure if I ever mastered that, or now, ever will.

Quick Links

A view of the Camden Lock sign painted on the railway bridge at the Camden Lock Place entrance to Camden Market.

Discovering Camden Market

However, we thought sod it, let’s go, surely no-one would mock my rara skirt and leg warmers (only joking).

A little bit of history

Camden Lock Market first threw open its warehouse doors on 30th March 1974. The market started from a converted run-down timber yard, by the banks of Regent’s Canal.

The floodlit sign for the Horse Tunnel Market within Camden Market below which is a crest between two horse figures with the label '"The Stables since 1854" below.

Horse Tunnel Market

Initially trading with 16 stalls, today the market is a flourishing hive of eclectic activity. Camden Market is open 364 days a year and sees an incredible 28 million visitors annually. This is such a credit to the continually evolving market.

Want to discover more than about London?

We've a little book on our shelves that we sometimes delve into when we're about to hit an area of London.

Packed full of historical facts, and broken down into the different regions of London, it's a great resource to help you see what's hidden in plain sight.

Available in Kindle & Hardback editions, it's an excellent addition to anyone's collection who loves London.


There’s always smiles in Camden

A grey London day didn’t dampen our spirits. As we strolled nearer to the infamous “Camden Lock’ railway bridge, you could feel the vibe of the area, it was friendly, relaxed and welcoming.

A close up of the Camden Lock railway bridge which is at the Camden Lock Place entrance to Camden Market.

Camden Lock Railway Bridge

People from all age groups and different walks of life ambling around, just soaking up the atmosphere and going with the flow. As the markets seamlessly wind their way from one to another.

Camden Lock Place in Camden Market with it's mix of food stalls and fashion leading towards the Camden Lock railway bridge.

Camden Lock Place and railway bridge

Some of the stalls here are fascinating, there is so much imagination and creativity put into producing these unique gifts.

A neon sign for Camden Vintage mounted directly on the brickwork in  Camden Market.

Camden Vintage

Every so often, I would get distracted by something a little quirky and just wander off amongst the maze of passages. It was so immersive; you keep heading deeper and deeper inside.

Everything you need to know

For more information on Camden Market and its events check out the local Camden Market website.

Something for everyone

Majority of the stalls and boutiques are undercover, so there’s no fear of fending off the good old English weather. As you stroll further through the themed lanes, you get a true sense of a community amongst the locals.

Looking like a middle-eastern bazaar, a store in Camden Market selling colourful mosaic brass lanterns.

Colourful mosaic brass lanterns

Egyptomania in Camden Market, a series of stalls selling Egyptian themed jewellery.

Jewellery in Egyptomania

The faint smell of joss sticks floated through the air as we passed enchanting mosaic lanterns teetering above our heads. Fluttering handmade candles and crafted gothic gifts.
 
There was even an Egyptomania area if pharaohs are your thing.

Black signs, with a white font, on a brick wall in Camden Market pointing out the key areas, including Horse Tunnel Market, Camden Lock Place, West Yard, Italian Alley, Egyptomania & the Stables Basement.

Which way next?

Have you seen?

If you enjoy finding out a little more about London districts, take a look at the articles we created for Spitalfields, Smithfield, Clerkenwell, St James’s and Greenwich.

All under one roof

I loved it around by the Horse Tunnel Market. Full of vintage clothes, new clothes, antiques, street art, crazy hats, and even a wall of pre-loved gentlemen’s leather shoes all weaved in together.

A hat store in Camden Market selling the more extravagant designs in bold and vibrant colours.

You can never have too many hats

A store in Camden market selling movie-style posters and postcards of your favourite artists & films.

One legend to another

I just couldn’t get enough of the whole character of the market. You wander seamlessly from one cubicle to the next, hand-painted street art t-shirts, comic strip prints. Then artisan jewellery standing shoulder to shoulder amongst old LP’s and vintage cameras.

A print store in Camden Market selling an eclectic mix of posters in all sizes.

Prints and posters in Horse Tunnel Market

What’s not to love about Camden Market?

A market like no other

To slightly mask the fact that part of Camden Market is set within old brick railway arches, a couple of the lanes were adorned in the skies with vibrant umbrellas and curved draped canvas sails.

A mixture of pink, yellow & red opened umbrellas provide a canopy between the stores in one lane in Camden Market.

Vibrant umbrellas through Camden Market

The Koo style store in one of the railway arches in Camden Market.  The focus on the street display is denim, in some cases, double denim.

Double denim anyone?

To be perfectly honest, I think to be within earshot of the trains bumping and jolting on tracks overhead, brings a unique earthy feel to your burlesque shopping experience, don’t you think?

A helpful guide

If you've yet to discover London and its ancient history, then let's start planning. I find these DK Eyewitness Travel Guides invaluable. They're extremely informative, easy to follow, and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more of those fascinating sites.
 
You can now grab a recently revised copy of this guidebook, so you won't miss a thing.


Italian Alley

What Gary and I didn’t expect while strolling through Camden Market was to hear the dulcet tones of Dean Martin.

A look Italian Alley in Camden Market lined with tables & stools on one side and Italian treats on the other.  The first store is Gelati Pepino serving fine coffee and amazing gelato.

Italian Alley in Camden Market

A selection of delicious-looking pizza slices with a variety of topping in Italian Alley in Camden Market.

Savoury Italian snacks

Ahh yes, as we sauntered into Italian Alley, we were greeted by the incredible aroma of freshly ground coffee beans. Followed by the sweet scent of Italian snacks, although the only item of cuisine I was eyeing up, was the gelato.

The top of an out-of-focus nibbled mint chocolate ice cream in front of the Gelati Pepino 1884 shop in Italian alley in Camden Market.

An ice-cream from Gelati Pepino 1884

I didn’t care that it was January, ice-cream time is anytime.

Why not?

Jet over to the UK and create your own adventure around the bustling lanes of Camden Market. Take a look at Skyscanner, it has to start somewhere.

Around North Yard and Stables Yard

Camden Market has grown so much over the years, there are nooks and crannies everywhere. Strolling out into open air of the North Yard, the shops are slightly larger; however, no less quirky.

The cobbled courtyard of the North Yard of Camden Market, home to artisan food stores with parasol covered benches outside.

Shops in the North Yard at Camden Market

Along here are even more food stalls, there is such an incredible selection of freshly prepared dishes, you are truly spoilt for choice. For those of you with a sweet tooth, you’ll surely get a sugar rush at Hans & Gretel.

Playful statues of the titular characters frame the outside of the Hans & Gretel sweet store in the North Yard of Camden Market.

Hans & Gretel

A trip to Camden Market wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the iconic statue of Amy Winehouse. Ohh, and of course, Cyberdog, who could forget that?

A statue to the late music artist Amy Winehouse, complete with beehive hairstyle, in Camden Market.

Amy Winehouse statue in Camden Market

Two 6 metre tall metallic android figures flanking the entrance to Cyberdog fashion store, in one of the old industrial buildings in Camden Market.

Cyberdog in Camden Market

It’s good to talk!

Please share with us the markets you’ve enjoyed in London and drop us a comment below. We always love to visit more.

Inspired to visit Camden Market?

Visit the captivating lanes of Camden Market, grab your overnight bag and enjoy a day rummaging around for that unique special buy.

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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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